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Muna has never known his father -- a samurai, a noble warrior. But Muna's mother has told Muna how he will know him one day: by the sign of the chrysanthemum. When his mother dies, Muna travels to the capital of twelfth-century Japan, a bewildering city on the verge of revolution. He finds a haven there, as servant to the great swordsmith, Fukuji. But Muna cannot forget his dream: He must find his father. Only then will he have power and a name to be reckoned with. Only then will he become a man.
Katherine Paterson was born in China, where she spent part of her childhood. After her education in China and the American South, she spent four years in Japan, the setting for her first three novels. Ms. Paterson has received numerous awards for her writing, including National Book Awards for The Master Puppeteer and The Great Gilly Hopkins, as well as Newbery Medals for Jacob Have I Loved and Bridge to Terabithia. Ms. Paterson lives with her husband in Vermont. They have four grown children.